Physical Therapy for Head Pain

A physical therapist can help you by designing a treatment program tailored specifically for your needs.

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Physical therapy can help you to recover from head pain

The head is a sensitive and complex part of the body that can be affected by many things. It’s important for those seeking relief from chronic pain to find professionals who are knowledgeable about treating these types of ailments. This page will focus on physical therapy as a treatment for headaches, neck and head injuries, neck strains, and more.

 There are many different types of head pain and different types of headaches, and each one may require a different treatment plan.  If you’d like to learn more, contact our clinic today!

Types of Head Pain We Treat

Vertigo

Vertigo is a type of dizziness where the patient has the feeling that they or everything around them is spinning. It can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, a loss of balance, and a ringing in the ears.  Vertigo can often be caused by a dysfunction of the middle ear, which is responsible for our sense of balance.

Migraine headaches

A migraine is a common type of headache that is usually accompanied by visual disturbances such as flashes of light, sparkles, or zigzag lines that affect the field of view.  Migraines can be triggered by a host of factors and can have a negative impact on your ability to complete tasks and focus in your daily life.

Tension headaches

A tension headache is a type of headache that is not accompanied by any sensory disturbances. It feels like a tight band around your head.  Tension headaches can be mild to moderate in their pain level, and their treatment can vary depending on the individual.

Chronic headaches

Chronic headaches are headaches that occur on a daily or near-daily basis.  Chronics headaches can fall under several categories of headaches. The frequency of the headaches and time having the headaches are important to consider when determining if you have a chronic headache condition.

Cervicogenic headaches

Cervicogenic headaches are a type of headache that is often caused by problems in the neck. This can include things like muscle tension, problems with the joints or discs in the neck, and pinched nerves. Cervicogenic headaches can be very painful and often do not respond well to traditional headache treatments.  They are also usually associated with pain that affects only one side originating from the neck area.

There are a number of things that can contribute to cervicogenic headaches, including poor posture, stress, and neck injuries. Treatment for cervicogenic headaches often includes targeted exercises and stretches to help relieve muscle tension and pain, as well as manual therapy or chiropractic care. Surgery is rarely needed for cervicogenic headaches.

General Neck pain

Neck pain is a very common type of ailment that leads to head pain, and it can arise from a variety of causes.  Neck pain can be caused by many things, such as injuries, poor posture, muscular adhesions in the traps, muscles around the shoulder blades, and small muscles of the neck.

In some cases, the vertebrae of the neck can be injured or have inflammation surrounding them.  This is a common cause of musculoskeletal headache events.  The health and well-being of the cervical spine are a contributing factor to many issues involving the head and neck.

Whiplash

Whiplash are soft tissue injuries that are often caused by car accidents or other types of trauma.  Whiplash is a type of neck injury that is caused by the sudden “whipping” of the head, usually from an accelerated back and forth movement of the head and neck. Symptoms can include pain, stiffness, headaches, dizziness, and blurred vision.

Whiplash most often occurs during car accidents when the head is thrown forward and then back again quickly. However, it can also occur as a result of a fall or blow to the head.

Concussions

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that is usually caused by a blow to the head that can cause the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. This sudden movement essentially slams the brain to the inside of the skull and can damage the brain and lead to concussion symptoms.

Symptoms of a concussion can include headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, amnesia, confusion, and feeling groggy. In some cases, concussions can also lead to more serious complications such as seizures or permanent brain damage. If you think you or someone you know may have a concussion, it is important to seek medical attention right away.

Injuries that affect balance

There are a number of different head injuries that can affect balance. Traumatic brain injuries, concussions, and even minor head injuries can all cause problems with balance. Some common symptoms of balance problems include feeling dizzy or lightheaded, feeling like the world is spinning, having trouble walking in a straight line, and feeling unsteady on your feet.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms after a head injury, it is important to speak to a doctor immediately. Balance problems can be a sign of more serious underlying issues and should not be ignored.

TMJ

TMJ is an acronym for temporomandibular joint. It’s the name of the joint that connects your lower jaw (mandible) to your skull (temporal bone). The TMJ can be affected by a number of problems, including arthritis, dislocation, and fractures. Symptoms of TMJ problems can include pain, clicking or popping sounds when you move your jaw, difficulty opening your mouth wide, and headaches.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor to determine the cause and receive treatment. Treatment options vary depending on the cause of the problem but may include medications, physical therapy, or surgery.

Work-related strains

Work-related strains are a common type of neck injury. They are caused by repeated or sustained motions of the head and neck, such as those often encountered in certain professions, such as long-haul drivers, nail artists, and others who worked in a fixed sitting position.

Symptoms of a work-related strain can include pain, stiffness, headaches, and fatigue. Treatment for work-related strains often includes targeted exercises and stretches to help relieve muscle tension.

How Physical Therapy Helps Head Pain

Physical therapists provide corrective exercises as well as manual therapy such as deep tissue massage, soft tissue mobilization, joint mobilization, and acupuncture. These treatments have been shown to reduce symptoms in patients with chronic headache disorders such as migraine or tension-type headache by shortening the duration or severity of symptoms between attacks.

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How do healthcare providers
treat head pain?

We will help assess pain affecting one side of the head, back of the head, base of the skull, injuries, and tension around the cervical spine.  Once we’ve made a thorough assessment, and considered your health history, we help you create the best treatment plan for your unique situation and symptoms.

Once your root causes of head pain are determined, physical therapy treatments can be employed to help you find relief and improve your quality of life. 

We also pride ourselves on patient education.  If we can help you understand the reasoning behind therapeutic exercises, then often patients can help maintain the work we’ve done in our clinic and live a more pain free life overall.

Our Clients Success Stories​

As a former athlete (now busy, working mom trying to stay healthy and active to keep up with her kiddos!) and as a former marketing rep for outpatient physical therapy clinics, I have been around many physical therapists. This power couple, Denise and Manny, have something special. I highly recommend them to anyone looking for physical therapy that is customized to their specific needs. I’ve been so pleased with the results I am getting that I’ve chosen to pay out of pocket when my insurance no longer covers my visits. To me, it’s worth every penny! Thank you, Denise and Manny, for getting this “old”, beat up body back to a place where I can feel like an athlete again!
Michelle G
Before seeing Dr. Miano I had been dealing with chronic pain for more than 3 years. I had tried several rounds of nerve blocking injections and various pain management medications that never relieved my pain. I had seen physical therapists in the past and I did not have high expectations. In the past, I always found excuses not to follow through with my therapy and frequently canceled appointments. What a difference a therapist makes. In the 3 months that I have been seeing Dr. Miano, I am proud to say I have not cancelled a single appointment. After about 3 visits, I was feeling a reduction in my level of pain. Dr. Miano provides hands on, one on one coaching. One of the big differences from other physical therapists is he listens to his patients needs and is empathetic. He gives his patients feedback and motivates his patients every step of the way. If you are looking for a caring, committed professional, look no further. Don’t delay, make an appointment ASAP.
Rowdy L
I went to Impact Care Therapy after some severe neck and upper back pains that seemed to appear suddenly and without injury. After getting some massages with no improvement, I decided to give physical therapy a shot. This was my first time to see a PT and Denise and Manny taught me so much! I alternated between seeing each of them, and it was a seamless transition between both therapists. Both were very helpful in helping me to figure out the root causes of my pain, and showed me a wide variety of exercises to help my muscles and joints loosen up, and to strengthen them. By the end of my 10 sessions, I was pain-free and had a tool box of activities I can keep up with to continue at home. I do still plan to go back regularly just to continue to learn more to challenge my body to become stronger!
Daisy Wang
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Start Treating Your Head Pain at Impact Care Therapy

Impact Care Therapy offers physical therapy treatments that can help relieve muscle tension and pain, and improve head pain symptoms for clients.  Our goal is to always achieve both short-term and long-term pain relief for our clients!

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms described in this article, please do not hesitate to contact one of our qualified physical therapists for a consultation. When you come in for your initial appointment, we will work with you, providing a thorough examination and create a treatment plan that will help you find relief.

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